Sintra - Cabo da Roca

Sintra , Cabo da Roca and it's hidden beaches.

People who have traveled to Lisbon already, will have noticed this in the guidebooks or been there already.

Sintra and Cabo da Roca, the most Western point of the European mainland.


To combine these two places in 1 day is almost impossible. But visiting Sintra in one day is perfectly possible. It's easy to combine when you go to Lisbon for a few days. There are trains running from the capital to Sintra (40 min).


You arrive at the bottom of the hill, from here you can walk to the small old town in 10min. The most visited and well-known attractions are the Moorish Castle and Palace of Pena.

The sporty types can do this all on foot. Can you ensure that you will burn some calories !  Whoever does not like this can of course achieve all this with a bus that will drop you off at the entrance of the Palace.  (Bus No. 434)


Both attractions on the hill offer beautiful views. On the Western side, the coastline and on the eastern side,  Lisbon. You also get a perception of how big the national park is.


From the 9th and 10th century Moorish castle, there are still some remnants left. You pay 8 € entrance fee. Within these enclosures are the remains of a collapsed church.


The next stop is the park and Palace of Pena. The former summer palace of the Portuguese Royal family is at the top of the hill at a height of 450 meters. The building has a combination of different architectural styles. It also has something magical.


In the Palace you can view the different rooms. You can also make beautiful walks in the accompanying park. It also offers different views of the castle. You pay 14 € to visit the park and palace.

People who want to go to Cabo da Roca can travel from Sintra with a tourist bus to this point, or if you travel by car you can reach this point very easily. It’s a half hour drive from Sintra.


Personally, I did not find the point so special. It has a beautiful view over the coastline with its cliff rocks, a beautiful lighthouse. But that's where it stops. People only come here for a photograph to prove that they have been at the most westerly point in Europe.


So I took a better look on my GPS and discovered some hidden, less touristy places. And with success.

If you drive one kilometer north of cabo da roca (on the main road) you will find a simple sandy path. (just before a tree hanging over the road). Park your car aside from the main road and walk this path until you reach a kind of natural platform.


Below you can already see a particle of the beach. The descent you have to take is at some risk, so be careful and take the left path. Those who want something more adventurous take the right path. There are no signposts so try to find the safest way to descent.

Once you are downstairs, you will enjoy it. An almost untouched hidden beach. Beautiful rock formations, beautiful waves, ... An almost unique place. And with a bit of luck, it is your private beach, or you have to share it with just a few people. Also, look for the tides, because the water line can come close to the rocks. So try to visit at low tide and in the morning.


A little further north you have a beautiful beach that is easily accessible and where you can find more people. Praia da adraga. You reach this beach via the town of Almoçageme. Just follow the road down until you reach the parking place.

 

Although it will be something more touristy, this is certainly worth the effort. Here, too, it is all reasonably natural.